Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Still Tilt

As you know, we're on a CafePress bent of late. (Which sounds painful, but it isn't.) On a whim, and my chair, I searched their site for LEGO-based products. I wanted to see how many people had zero regard for copyright and/or intellectual property. There were quite a few responses. So, I did what any normal LEGO fiend would do... I wrote to LEGO and told them all about it. It took a while for the information to get through to their legal department, but eventually a search for "LEGO" on CafePress comes up with zero results. Unfortunately, a search for "LEGOS" still comes up with something. A follow-up letter to the fine folks at LEGO was sent, and now I'm just waiting.

Can you tell I don't like it when people use someone else's creativity to make money? I still tilt at windmills. I guess that will never stop. I guess the difference is that people are listening now, so I'm actually accomplishing things. It's a nice change.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

First Day Of Summer

From the ForecastFox weather alert on my happy browser window:

"THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TUCSON HAS ISSUED A HEAT ADVISORY.WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM TO 6 PM MST THURSDAY.

STRONG HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT WILL BRING THE HOTTEST TEMPERATURES TO DATE FROM TUCSON WEST. HIGH TEMPERATURES ON THURSDAY ARE FORECAST TO BETWEEN 108 AND 114 DEGREES...WITH THE HOTTEST TEMPERATURES IN WESTERN PIMA COUNTY AND IN SOUTH CENTRAL PINAL COUNTY. THESE HOT TEMPERATURES WILL HANG AROUND INTO FRIDAY AND SATURDAY.

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS...STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM...STAY OUT OF THE SUN...AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS. DO NOT LEAVE
ANYONE OR PETS UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE."

If you need us, we're going to be spending a couple days in the freezer. I'm not sure if the computers will work in there, but I really don't care.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pirate Gecko

I woke up at 5 A.M. yesterday. While that is considered "sleeping in" by my family, it's really friggin' early in my book. So early, in fact, that for a long time I considered 5 A.M. as "almost time for bed". My early rising had nothing to do with the hippie with the leaf blower. If that were the case, the hippie would have gone from gardener to mulch in a hurry despite my attempts at becoming a more mellow member of the Arizonan populace. (Oh, and I still dislike the terms "Arizonan" and "Tucsonan". They're very boringan.)

The point of the matter is that I seem to come up with anthropomorphic non-mammalian critters when I've been awake for great swaths of time. I don't know if it's just the heat, or some deeper psychosis. If anyone out there would care to study this, I'll happily take grant money so that I can be studied. There may be a direct inverse proportion to the order of the species compared to the number of wakeful hours. I came up with a squid last time, and this time it's a gecko. If I stay up longer, who knows what could be next? Goldfish? Dragonfly? Or if it's a really, really long time, maybe a dinoflagellate* cowboy. That'd sell like hotcakes. Or paramecium cakes. (Not as filling, but you get more maple syrup that way.)

*Unrelated to anything: Blogger has no problem with the word "paramecium", but it doesn't understand "dinoflagellate". Don't make me test your spell checker, boys. I know phyla.

Friday, June 08, 2007

No Cursing This Time

For the curious as well as the indifferent, our CafePress store has moved. It is now located here: http://www.cafepress.com/stargazerdesign.

If you're reading this from work, you're required to go to the store and buy something. Unless you work for a governmental agency. If that's the case, you're required to buy ten things. Or more.

Lots more.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Don't Look, Mom.

Dear DoD: Stop fucking wasting my fucking tax fucking dollars and get the fuck back to fucking work instead of using fucking StumbleUpon on my goddamn dime.

(If you delete all the curse words, this post is four letters long. It's math in action!)

My apologies to my legions of fans for the foul words. This kind of thing really, really, really pisses me off to no end.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Moment of Power

You know how it is... you're driving along, and another car makes a special effort to pull out and get in front of you... only to drop down to a speed so slow you could be passed by a parade of Shriners in their Hoverounds. In reverse. Or perhaps you're in the supermarket, and another shopper has combined the witdh of their cart and the width of their person to block the aisle completely. Are people just that self-absorbed? Do they truly exist in such thick bubbles that they are blissfully unaware of any other people around them? Maybe some of them are, but I think that most people do it on purpose. Why? Power. For that moment, however fleeting, that person is in control of someone else. Their actions directly impact the daily lives of another. They are in control, and they have your attention. Sure, the attention may be in the form of a string of expletives shouted at ear-shattering volume, but it's an affirmation of the degree of impact they have made. They may be the bottom rung of the corporate ladder, or the parent of the kids who never listen, or the one who is always compared to the more successful member of the family, but in that moment they are the ones who make the decisions. They know it, they revel in it, and it may be the only time they actually get to feel anything approaching control. It may not be a good feeling, but it's something other than powerlessness, so it'll do in a pinch.

With this line of reasoning in place, I find it much easier to deal with these encounters. Don't get me wrong. It certainly does not mean that I curse any less. (I'm from New York, baby. Cursing is an art form, not to mention a law.) It just means that the footnote of my reflexive expletives is laughter. After all, if the best they can do to feel good is inconvenience others, that's pretty pathetic. Mockingly so.

Maybe I'm wrong, and people really aren't doing it willfully. Maybe they are just rock stupid, and so deeply mired in their own little worlds they have no idea that anyone else exists. I'd rather accept evil in its most minor form than stupid, even though I've had more than my fill of both.

After all, I used to work for the government.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Winter



This one has annoyed me for one simple reason: I cannot stop typing the title as "Wintar". That's what happens when a nickname collides with reality, I guess.

Autumn



It doesn't really show up on these, as I had to make them relatively tiny for the sake of my family and their steam-powered internet connection, but I really liked how the skin came out on her.

Summer



She looks a trifle miffed. Probably because we've reached the stage where we get consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures. In other words: her flowers are screaming as they burn to cinders.

Spring



I realize I'm a little late in the season, but "Spring" is the title that popped into my head after this image was made. It's almost certainly going to turn into a traditional series, so prepare to be confused as to which equinox is closer.